From the first letter to Timothy from the apostle Paul, I find a message for those who rule by greed and live for excessive profit at the expense of people. I found this particular passage in Scripture to be like an open indictment of the direction of some of our incoming and current politicians and President-elect, Donald J. Trump. Originally though the intent was to direct this message to those like our current politicians and President-to-be who boast of their riches and wealth and play with the money and wealth of others less fortunate than themselves. It was a warning about over dependance upon wealth and money and taking for granted their status and rank.
People who put all their faith in money and materialism and luxuries take it for granted that life will always be easy for them. They take it for granted that money will always flow in their direction and into their pockets. They take for granted that the working class will never revolt or rise up against them. They take for granted that the working class will always be complacent and always willing to be exploited and taken advantage of.
And for all the wealth and money many of these wealthy elites have, what substantial good do they serve in society? Do they give as much as they receive? Do they share their profits? Do they invest their wealth in the well-being of those less fortunate then themselves? Do they invest in the well-being of their communities? Do they pay their fair share?
And what of their character? Has excessive wealth purchased them good virtues like compassion, kindness, generosity, empathy, or charity? It seems the wealthy elite are more concerned about their personal finances and their personal security than what good they could do for society and their fellow men and women.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (ESV)
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
God provides. There is no need to steal from others. God enables us all to enjoy life equally and justly. Why should one class of people assume places of superiority over another and take other people’s security and well-being or prosperity for the sake of their own?
It’s an age-old problem, the division between the “Have’s” and “Have Nots”. The rich seem to be getting richer and the poor continue to be stricken with poverty and oppression. Something has to change and something needs to end this cycle. But if God wills it, what is so easily gained can be just as easily taken away. What is easily taken away can also just as easily be restored ten to a hundred-fold. One only has to read the story of Job to get this illustration– and be aware of these rises and falls all around you.
When you can’t trust the economy or the whims and wills of the politicians and leaders in government, that is when you lay your trust in God and start racking up treasures in heaven and consider that your character and virtue is more valuable than any riches on Earth.